Computed tomography exams (also called CT scans) use a combination of X-rays and high-powered computers to take cross-sectional images of bones and soft tissues in the body and piece them together into three-dimensional images. These exams can be used on many different parts of the body, including the head, spine, chest and heart.
CT exams are generally prescribed to:
- Detect or confirm the presence of a tumor
- Provide information about the size and location of a tumor and whether it has spread
- Guide the removal of cells or tissue for further examination
- Help plan radiation therapy or surgery
- Determine whether cancer is responding to treatment
CT can also detect abnormalities, such as blood clots, cysts, fractures and infections. A CT exam is a noninvasive procedure and is usually performed on an outpatient basis. These procedures emit low amounts of radiation and are considered safe.
CT exams are performed at Scripps Mercy’s Chula Vista campus from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays on the lower level of the hospital. At our San Diego campus, CT exams are performed from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. We offer next-day CT appointments.